Monday, April 17, 2006


"Recognize your strength. Recognize your power. Recognize your potential. Take care of yourself."

That's the motto of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project's (PEP) new Recognize! campaign to embrace issues that are important to young women of color and to speak directly to the complex realities that many young women of color face today.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, a partner with PEP, is working with other pro-choice organizations to get the word out about recent findings outlining how women of color view their reproductive health. It's critical that the reproductive health and rights of African-American and Latino young women get the attention they deserve:

* More than one-third of Latinas are uninsured (37%), more than twice the rate of white women (16%). African-American women are also more likely to be uninsured (20%) than white women.

* AIDS is the number one cause of death of African-American women ages 25-34, and the HIV infection rate among Latinas is seven times higher than for white women. (I thought there might be some statistical hyperbole here. Higher than car accidents??? Really? But it seems to be true.)

* African-American women have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy, and the unntended pregnancy rate for Latinas is nearly two times the rate of white women.

PEP's campaign focuses around three main issues:

  • The role of community and the control that a woman has over her own body in relation to the people around her.
  • Highlighting motherhood as a positive and inspiring responsibility that many young women look forward to, and that means maintaining good maternal health.
  • Recognizing that young women see their reproductive health on a spectrum with other concerns such as lack of health care, HIV/AIDS and general well-being.

The action plan for the day:

· Check out PEP's new campaign materials on its website: Recognize!.

· Check out this new report, "She Speaks: African American and Latino Young Women on Reproductive Health and Rights"

· To find out more about PEP's work to represent the views of young women, women of color, and low-income women, click here.

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